Showing posts from August, 2020

Riding on a high: why is the market hitting records in a recession?

The US National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the official tracker of the US business cycle, declared that the recession in the country started in February 2020 . According to NBER February was the peak of the business cycle as jobs already started disappearing (even though the huge COVID-driven unemployment claim spikes didn’t happen until mid-March ). Over the next month and a half over 42 million Americans found themselves out of work. The official unemployment rate shot up to 14.7% in April (it was 3.5% in February), and has declined back to 10.2% in July, as a more encouraging sign of a recovery driven by business re-openings. Due to the effects of COVID-19 the uncertainty in the economy is still huge, and is still the biggest it has ever been according to the Economic Policy Uncertainty Index . Almost every graph we see during the pandemic has a label “unprecedented” attached to it; we are usually looking at a very steep exponential curve facing up (for unemployment, unce

Welcome to The Political Economist

It's been almost three years since I last wrote anything on my once very active blog. I stopped producing regular content by mid 2014, dropped down to 2 posts per month in 2015 (down from over 10 posts p/m in the years before that) and even though I picked it up again in 2016 with my series of book reviews , by 2017 the blog was basically dead.  Reasons? I have two kids now, I've finished a PhD at Oxford, and I'm running a company that I co-founded . So yeah, bit busy. I've still been writing. In fact, now more than ever (papers are getting published, the PhD is finished, working on a book project, business stuff, etc.), but I never really motivated myself enough to go back to the blog. Until now, that is. Time has come to revive it!  Motivation? The crisis, of course. The COVID-induced economic downturn.  The "Don't Worry" blog started after the previous crisis. I was very invested in tracking the consequences of the 2008/09 financial crisis as well